Iranian, Finnish FMs discuss security in Persian Gulf

TEHRAN, Aug. 19 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is on a three-nation tour to Nordic countries, met and held talks with his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto on Monday in Helsinki.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the issues surrounding the Iranian-operated oil tanker Grace 1 (renamed to Adrian Darya 1), which has recently been released and has now entered international waters 45 days after having been illegally detained in Gibraltar by the UK.

They also conferred on the latest developments on the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the JCPOA, and highlighted the need for expediting efforts to fully launch INSTEX – EU’s trade mechanism for Iran aimed at facilitating trade in the face of US sanctions.

The two ministers then exchanged views on the security of the Persian Gulf region, as well as the proposals and initiatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran for holding regional dialogue.

During the meeting, Zarif noted that Iran has the longest borders in the Persian Gulf, stressing Iran’s readiness and high capacity to guarantee the security of this region.

The Finnish foreign minister, for his part, said despite the US pressure on European companies, Finland and the EU support the INSTEX trade mechanism for doing business with Iran.

Heading a high-ranking delegation, Zarif arrived in Helsinki today to hold high-level talks with the European country’s senior officials on a host of bilateral as well as international issues.

The top diplomat’s visit comes as the first of his three-nation tour, as he will depart Finland for Norway and Sweden afterwards to “discuss ways to ease tensions in the West Asia region.”

Prior to his meeting with Pekka Haavisto, Zarif held talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

MNA/4696822

News Code 149069

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